Acute renal failure is the sudden failure of the kidneys to function. When the kidneys fail, the waste products build up and cause symptoms that vary in severity. This condition may be severe, but may respond to medical treatment.
Causes of Renal Failure, Acute
Numerous conditions can lead to acute renal failure. They include infections, alterations of blood pressure, obstructions of the urinary tract and certain drugs, to name a few. They all result in varying degrees of acute failure of the cells of the kidney to work. The result is a buildup of waste products in the blood and tissues. A list of the underlying conditions that might produce acute renal failure include: shock with very low blood pressure, blood poisoning (septicemia), congestive heart failure, fluid and electrolyte imbalance, blood-transfusion reaction, severe accident with extensive muscle injury, acute glomerulonephritis, multiple myeloma, obstruction of blood vessels that supply the kidney, kidney stones that obstruct both ureters or the urethra, prostate enlargement, use of certain medications, including anticancer drugs, kanamycin, amphotericin B, anticonvulsants or excessive vitamin D, and overdose of many poisons or drugs, especially mind-altering drugs.
Signs and Symptoms of Renal Failure, Acute
In the early stages of acute renal failure there is little or no urine output. Symptoms of later stages include nausea and vomiting, diarrhea and loss of appetite. Severe itching, high or low blood pressure, unexplained bruising, bleeding spots under the skin or spontaneous bleeding may also occur. As the condition progresses and toxins build up due to malfunction of the kidneys, mental changes, irritability, drowsiness, stupor, coma, convulsions can all occur. Symptoms of the underlying cause will also be present.
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Medical Content Last Updated on 07/12/2008
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